Inside: During our community helpers theme, we focused on the post office and firefighters, since those can be most meaningful for this age group. Come see how we set up our toddler and preschool classroom with fun activities. Free printables included!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
The community helpers theme is a fun way to explore different careers grown ups have.
We focus on firefighters and the post office during this theme because it’s usually most meaningful to young children.
However, we also have construction going on in the block area and in the sensory bin, and we display a variety of community helpers books in our reading area.
👉 Scroll down to get the free printables that go with the community helpers theme!
Putting Together the Toddler and Preschool Community Helpers Theme
As with all of our toddler and preschool themes, not every activity in our classroom is related to the current theme.
You will also see activities that our children have shown an interest in, or those that build certain skills (especially at our activity table).
One of our favorite dramatic play activities every single year is the post office.
Young children see the mail truck delivering envelopes and packages every day. They’ve also probably been to the post office a few times with parents to drop off packages.
When we set up our pretend post office, we include several mail boxes since this area is so popular.
We assemble a variety of boxes that are stored on our shelves along with containers of envelopes of different sizes.
Our dress up cart includes hats, visors, shirts, vests, and mailbags for more fun pretend play.
On top of our dramatic play shelf are post office picture books, figurines, and even small mail carrier trucks that actually open in the back.
Related: Post Office Dramatic Play Fun
We focused on the fire fighters and construction workers in our block area. Our train table was turned into a platform to hold our big wooden fire station along with rescue workers and rescue vehicles.
We also had assorted community helper vehicles in a basket on the block shelf, as well as a variety of community helper figures.
Our unit blocks were used to build structures, too.
We brought back our beloved kinetic sand for a fun construction sensory bin. The children made roads with the vehicles and drove them under the arch blocks.
In addition to stencils, blank paper, clipboards and markers, we added our post office color sheets to our writing table this week.
You can find this color sheet in the post office packet, located towards the bottom of this page.
In addition to our usual play dough tools, we added some small fire fighter figures.
Eventually a few of our small fire trucks made their way over to this table as well!
Related: Playdough Learning Activities
During our free-choice centers time we also have table activities available.
Some of our table activities this week:
- Tow Truck Counting Puzzle (Printable Provided Below)
- Wooden Community Helpers Dress Up Dolls (“Joey” and “Julia”)
- Magnetic Numbers (on a Magnetic Cookie Sheet)
After creating a fire flame printable, I taped 2 onto our light table. I then squirted red and yellow paint in each one and carefully sealed them with wide packing tape.
As the children pressed on the bag, the colors mixed and the flames were more visible.
You can find a free copy of this flame printable when you scroll down this page a bit.
Using the same fire flame printable that was on our light table, I came up with a fun art activity that involved mixing shaving cream and yellow and red liquid watercolors.
All 3 were squired on a tray and the children mixed everything around with a craft stick.
They loved watching a new color form while they mixed!
When finished, they took the flame printable and pressed it face down into the colored shaving cream, making a fun print.
More color mixing took place at our easel. I poured yellow and red paint into a tray along with brayers.
The children were invited to roll both colors onto paper to create their own “flames” while watching a 3rd color emerge.
Using brayers on a vertical surface is an excellent fine motor activity, as the entire arm works to push and pull.
Click on photos for the pdf download:
Community Helpers Activity Plans
I’ve teamed up with other early childhood teachers and homeschoolers to put together these hands-on community helper activity plans for toddlers and preschoolers!
Easy to follow activity plans that include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners.
Note: This is a digital product. That means when you make a purchase, the link to the activities will be emailed to you.
For more information, click on the graphics below: